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Proposed reasons have included the personality of Galileo Galilei and the availability of evidence such as telescope observations. In March , in connection with the Galileo affair , the Roman Catholic Church 's Congregation of the Index issued a decree suspending De revolutionibus until it could be "corrected," on the grounds that the supposedly Pythagorean doctrine [22] that the Earth moves and the Sun doesn't was "false and altogether opposed to Holy Scripture.

On the orders of Pope Paul V , Cardinal Robert Bellarmine gave Galileo prior notice that the decree was about to be issued, and warned him that he could not "hold or defend" the Copernican doctrine. In Galileo Galilei was convicted of grave suspicion of heresy for "following the position of Copernicus, which is contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture ," [26] and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.


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Galileo had gotten off lightly. Another Copernican, Giordano Bruno , had been prosecuted in Rome by the same Cardinal Bellarmine and on February 17 , , burned at the stake as a heretic primarily for his theologic views and not necessarily his scientific ones. The Catholic Church's Index of Prohibited Books omitted the general prohibition of works defending heliocentrism, [27] but retained the specific prohibitions of the original uncensored versions of De revolutionibus and Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.

Those prohibitions were finally dropped from the Index. It has been asserted [29] that medieval scholars had known that the Earth was a sphere and that, paradoxically, it might have been Copernicus's criticism of the early Christian author Lactantius ca. Both the nationality and ethnicity of Copernicus are disputed.

His father has been described by some as a Pole, and his mother was most likely of German origin. The astronomer's grandfather Watzenrode was a decided opponent of the Teutonic Order. It remains a matter of dispute whether a "nationality" should be ascribed to Nicolaus Copernicus retrospectively and, if so, whether he should be considered German or Polish. Copernicus was born, grew up, and spent most of his life in Royal Prussia and therefore was a subject of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom.

Nevertheless, some have preferred to assign a single nationality to Copernicus. Nazi Germany claimed Copernicus to have been purely German, [42] while Poland has always promoted him as purely Polish.

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Even today, some Germans and Poles continue to regard him as having been exclusively one of their own. Poland has issued coins and a banknote bearing Copernicus's portrait. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation , search.

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For other uses, see Copernicus disambiguation. Main article: Copernican heliocentrism. There is no one center of all the celestial circles or spheres. The center of the earth is not the center of the universe, but only of gravity and of the lunar sphere. All the spheres revolve about the sun as their mid-point, and therefore the sun is the center of the universe. The ratio of the earth's distance from the sun to the height of the firmament is so much smaller than the ratio of the earth's radius to its distance from the sun that the distance from the earth to the sun is imperceptible in comparison with the height of the firmament.

Whatever motion appears in the firmament arises not from any motion of the firmament, but from the earth's motion. The earth together with its circumjacent elements performs a complete rotation on its fixed poles in a daily motion, while the firmament and highest heaven abide unchanged. What appear to us as motions of the sun arise not from its motion but from the motion of the earth and our sphere, with which we revolve about the sun like any other planet. The earth has, then, more than one motion.

The apparent retrograde and direct motion of the planets arises not from their motion but from the earth's. The motion of the earth alone, therefore, suffices to explain so many apparent inequalities in the heavens. In Polish. Retrieved on - Fred L. Wilson of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Koestler also denies it. Indirect evidence that Copernicus was concerned about objections from theologians comes from a letter written to him by Andreas Osiander in , in which Osiander advises Copernicus to adopt a proposal by which he says "you will be able to appease the Peripatetics and theologians whose opposition you fear.

Rosen is particularly scathing about this and other statements in The Sleepwalkers which he criticises as inaccurate. Inquisition Minutes of 25 February, [5] ; Cardinal Bellarmine's certificate of 26 May, [6]. This would not have prevented Galileo from discussing heliocentrism solely as a mathematical hypothesis, but a stronger formal injunction not to teach it "in any way whatever, either orally or in writing", allegedly issued to him by the Commissary of the Holy Office, Father Michelangelo Segizzi, would certainly have done so Fantoli, , pp.

There has been much controversy over whether the copy of this injunction in the Vatican archives is authentic; if so, whether it was ever issued; and if so, whether it was legally valid Fantoli, , pp.

The Scientific World of Copernicus

Southern Cross Review : note 2. XIV, , pp. XIV, p. Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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History of Astronomy Part 3: Copernicus and Heliocentrism